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Effect of New Defense Plan, Cuts Unclear for Colorado’s Military

Colorado National Gaurd

It’s unclear how a new defense strategy and cuts outlined by President Barack Obama will affect 27,000 soldiers at Fort Carson Army Post outside of Colorado Springs. Details are expected in the coming weeks about how the changes will impact Colorado.

On Thursday Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that ground forces would be reduced and restructured as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

The announcement comes at a time when Fort Carson is actually expanding—a new helicopter brigade is expected to bring an additional 2,700 soldiers. Democratic Senator Mark Udall said on Thursday that plans are still on track for that project.

But, Republican Representative Mike Coffman says Fort Carson won’t be completely immune from reductions.

“I think the Army will take the deepest cuts, and I think the Marine Corps will take some,” he says. “I think the U.S. Air Force has already taken some deep cuts in terms of federal civil service personnel. ” 

In addition to Fort Carson, Colorado is home to Peterson and Buckley Air Force bases, and the Air Force Academy.